Juggling business and home life are tricky, but as long as you’re getting honest with what needs to be done, it’s possible to reconcile your schedules for both! List down all the housework and business tasks that you have to do in a day.
For family time, outline specific times for lunch, dinner, snacks, nap times, bonding with the kids, etc. For business, outline dates and time for deadlines, zoom meetings, calls, and appointments. Check the lists side by side and start setting specific dates for each one, ensuring that no one task is overlapping with another.
If you have a partner who’s also working from home, ask for help with specific duties so you can free up more time. If there is conflict on certain hours, look for a practical workaround, like switching up when to start or end your day, to keep your schedules in check.
Regardless of whether if you’re leading the team or having a manager who oversees your team’s output, it is clear with your needs to set expectations. This is important because most times, people are not aware that they are crossing the boundaries you’ve set for yourself. And believe me, it’s better to let your co-employees know what you can and cannot do when you’re working so that they don’t have to guess when’s the best time to talk to you about work.
Again, if your home and work hours are conflicting, let your team or manager know. Find ways to solve the conflicts and learn to adjust your work and home hours to accommodate each other. You want to achieve a balance, be there for your family, and be productive at work for job security.
For instance, if you can’t work until the kids are napping, let your manager know so he’ll know when to schedule meetings or calls. Delegate tasks and assign deadlines if you are leading your team. Be clear about important dates, so no one misses anything. You can use a list-type or calendar app to keep everyone in the loop.
It will be challenging to get work done at home, especially if you have small children to take care of. Still, as long as you are setting expectations with your partner (and everyone else in your household), it’s possible to stay productive and care for your family.
Apart from creating schedules for home and work tasks, ask your partner to help you out. Work as a team, find ways to help each other to prevent burnout. Be clear about the tasks you can and cannot do to figure out the way forward. For example, if napping time is scheduled simultaneously as your team meeting, switch things up. You can ask your partner to check on the kids while they nap while holding the meeting in the other room. It’s all about compromise at this point.
If you’re the only one running the household, consider getting help with the babysitting. You can hire a professional or ask a loved one to help you out with the household tasks during your work hours. Do your research, see what options are available for you.
Sometimes the workload is light. Other times, you need to concentrate on your tasks 100%. If it’s the latter, I highly suggest blocking off time in your day to focus on work. Clear this time to get everything done without distractions. Ask your partner to help you set the time. To maximize your time, turn off your mobile phone, don’t check your email (unless that’s part of your job), and remove any distraction that will waste precious seconds of your time!
Ideally, you want to block off times of the day when you’re most productive. For instance, if work gets super hectic between 10 to 12 in the morning, reserve these times for critical work. If you have a deadline to meet, you can block the hours in advance.
Please don’t feel guilty about taking breaks from work. You deserve it! Breaks are as important as working hard. You can’t be in the right headspace if you’re burned out. Avoid sitting for long stretches of time. Get up, walk around and stretch those legs. Don’t forget to hydrate and eat at the correct times of the day. Incorporate breaks into your home and work routines. No matter how hectic work becomes, take a breather because you have to feel your best to work at your best.
When you are juggling a million things at once, and your superiors are still piling up more work, don’t be afraid to say no to the extra responsibilities. Most people are so scared to say no in fear that they’re unhelpful. And what happens is that you’re working too hard with zero regards to your mental and emotional health. Eventually, you’ll feel stressed out, anxious, miserable etc., and the quality of your work suffers.
Set boundaries, learn to say no when you need to so you don’t feel overwhelmed with your daily tasks. You can say no and still be helpful to your team. You just have to focus on your priorities. For example, if a team member is looking for information that another person in your team could answer, let him know. If a colleague asks how a particular process works, show him or her how it’s done so next time, he or she doesn’t have to ask the same question.
People are sometimes wary of setting boundaries because they don’t want to be perceived as a “difficult” person. But if you’re overwhelmed and stressed out by the sheer amount of tasks you’d have to complete in a day + the chores waiting for you at home, lines must be drawn! No job is too important if it meant sacrificing your mental and emotional health. With these tips, you can build healthy work and home routines to focus on work and fulfilling personal commitments while also taking care of yourself.